Friday, September 30, 2011
President Obama honors outstanding early-career scientists
Presidential Early Career Award recipient Evgenya Simakov. LANL photo.
President Obama today named 94 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, including Dr. Evgenya I. Simakov of Los Alamos National Laboratory.
"It is inspiring to see the innovative work being done by these scientists and engineers as they ramp up their careers—careers that I know will be not only personally rewarding but also invaluable to the Nation," President Obama said. (White House News Release)
This news also appeared on the PhysOrg website and in the Los Alamos Monitor
What about the nuclear option for spaceflight?
Artist's concept of a nuclear rocket. NASA image.
"Nuclear propulsion should be included when considering deep-space travel," said Princeton physicist Gene H. McCall, retired chief scientist for the Air Force Space Command and a senior scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
"The engines could also be used for years as a power source for establishing a base on the moon or Mars, or any long-term base where gathering power from the sun would be difficult.” (Full Story)
Experts offer measures to save lives after nuclear explosion
Air Force personnel don protective equipment in a nuclear attack drill. USAF photo.
Local governments and communities today are not well equipped to deliver preparedness knowledge before or after an incident, according to Schoch-Spana, a member of the Nuclear Resilience Expert Advisory Group that prepared the document.
"The bottom line is the only way for us to be prepared is to know what to do in advance," Tammy Taylor, head of the Nonproliferation Division at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and member of the advisory group, told the audience. (Full Story)
Mars rover to sport UNM-made devices
ChemCam is tested at JPL. JPL photo.
Among the many tools on the "Curiosity" is the brand new ChemCam instrument, developed by a joint US-French team led by Dr. Roger Wiens of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and included UNM professors and students from the Institute of Meteoritics (IOM). (Full Story)
Biosensor to help detect disease
Los Alamos National Laboratory successfully completed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Biomagnetics Diagnostics, Inc., in June 2011.
The CRADA was created to continue work on developing a commercial product that could detect a specific biomarker in urine that could aid in the diagnosis of tuberculosis infection. However, a commercially available product has not yet been built or clinically tested. (Full Story)
Building a microgrid
Construction of the Microgrid is underway. ABQ Journal photo.
The project is being carried out by NEDO, a quasi-government agency from Japan, along with the state, Mesa del Sol, Public Service Company of New Mexico, Sandia and Los Alamos national labs and Los Alamos County. (Full Story)
The arXiv at 20: a global resource
Cornell professor Ginsparg started arXiv while at LANL. Cornell photo.
As the e-print arXiv of scientific publications celebrates its 20th anniversary, what started as an effort to "level the playing field" for researchers has created a whole new playing field on which the white lines are still not clearly drawn.
"But what I was trying to do was set up a system that eliminated the hierarchy in my field," said Paul Ginsparg. As a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, "I was receiving preprints long before graduate students further down the food chain." (Full Story)
Seashore to host global climate research
The Cape Cod National Seashore will be a research site for a yearlong global study to improve the forecasting of hurricanes, droughts, smog and other climate events.
Starting in July 2012 at a site near the Highland Center in Truro, researchers will be measuring the amount and composition of tiny dust particles blown this way and out to sea.
The scientists are part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility, the largest funded climate change research project in the world. It involves 350 scientists at permanent sites all over the globe, according to project manager Kim Nitschke from the Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)
Research from Los Alamos National Laboratory provides new data on microbiology
"The importance of soil fungi in complex carbon degradation and the recent identification of genes involved in this process have sparked considerable interest in examining fungal gene expression in situ . Expression of target eukaryotic genes is commonly examined using reverse transcription PCR, during which single-stranded complementary DNA is synthesized from an oligo primer and the gene of interest is subsequently amplified by PCR using gene specific primers," researchers in Los Alamos, New Mexico report. (Full Story)
Can the tree whisperer save our forests?
A Pine beetle and larvae at the Northern Forestry Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Greg Southam, Edmonton Journal
The dry spell descended on the Southwest in the mid-1990s, after twenty years of wet weather, and didn't let go until 2005. At the Los Alamos National Laboratory, ecologist David Breshears could look out his window at a pinyon study plot the size of a football field and actually watch the trees die.
"I would see the trees go from vibrant green to pale, gasping green to pale brown to dropping all their needles," he remembers. Between 2002 and 2003, the die-off was so extensive that patches of graying trees could be seen from outer space. It extended over 4,600 square miles, an area the size of Germany's Black Forest. (Full Story)
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